RPF suspects missing laptops, phones to be in black market

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Chennai: Did the stolen laptops and smart phones from AC coaches of trains from Chennai Central to Bengaluru and Hyderabad land in black market? That’s what the Railway Protection Force thinks.

An official said, Railway minister Mr. Suresh Prabhu has suggested studying all such incidents to find a common factor in the theft cases of devices from AC coaches.

“Is there any inside help to the perpetrators” the official wondered. In many incidents passengers have complained that after placing their laptop bags on their berths when they went to a buy a bottle of water their laptops have gone missing.

Phones also have disappeared from charging points in AC coaches, railway police said.

A senior RPF official said, “Despite trying to track mobile phones through IMEI numbers, we could not find any clues about their theft. Nearly 15 laptops have disappeared from morning trains to Bengaluru in a similar manner in 2016”, the official said.

“We suspect that instead of selling the phones or laptops, their components are being sold in the black market”, he added.

Thieves stealing laptops and phones do not leave any trace, and the easy availability of spare parts like batteries in markets has left the police to suspect that the devices may be disassembled and sold in these black markets.

A RPF official said, we are trying to find out if there is any involvement of onboard housekeeping staff or staff in charge of bedrolls.

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